Each day about 28 people in America die in drunk-driving car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
So over the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, more than 10,000 people died each year in drunk driving car accidents, says NHTSA.
In 2019, drunk driving deaths in the United States reached their lowest level since 1982, the year the NHTSA began collecting data on drunk driving fatalities, with 10,142 fatalities
Overview of Drunk Driving Statistics
Here’s a roundup of statistics about drunk driving:
- About one-third of car crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers, according to the NHTSA.
- The yearly cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more than $44 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel of a car about 147 million times in 2018, according to the CDC.
- In 2017, 32% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes while driving at night were drunk, according to the latest data from NHTSA.
- Almost twice as many alcohol-related and fatal car crashes occur during the weekend, according to NHTSA.
- In 2017, there were four male, alcohol-impaired drivers for every one female alcohol-impaired driver out on the road, says NHTSA.
- In 2019, there were 50,930 drivers in fatal car crashes, and an estimated 19% of the drivers were alcohol-impaired, according to NHTSA
- The percentages of alcohol-impaired drivers who were in fatal car crashes ranged from 11% in Utah to 34% in Rhode Island.
- About 6% of teens surveyed in the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey said they drove while drinking within the past 30 days. That included 7% of males. Nearly 17% of teens surveyed admitted to driving in a car while a driver who had been drinking.
- In 2018, 29% of all traffic fatalities were alcohol-impaired crashes, according to the NHTSA.
- Covid didn’t reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents despite less traffic on the road. Police reported alcohol involvement in 9% of crashes, according to an NHTSA analysis of the 2020 traffic statistics.
- About 27% of drivers were involved in alcohol-related serious or fatal crashes from March 17, 2020, through Sep. 30, 2020, compared to 21% from Sep. 10, 2019, through March 16, 2020, according to the NHTSA.
Drunk Driving Fatalities by State
Here are the number of people who died in car crashes with alcohol-impaired drivers from 2009 to 2018, according to the most recent data from the CDC.
Drunk Driving Statistics by Age
The greatest percentage of drunk drivers are:
- 27% between age 21 to 24
- 25% between age 25 to 34
Drunk driving has a big impact on teen drivers. In 2019, 24% of young drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in car crashes had blood alcohol concentrations of .01 or higher.
DUIs and Car Insurance Rates
A DUI conviction can cause your car insurance rates to increase an average of 67%, based on Forbes Advisor’s analysis of national average rates from 10 large auto insurers.
An insurance company will typically pull your motor vehicle record when you buy a policy or before renewal time, and adjust rates based on tickets, convictions and other factors.
Strategies for Drunk Driving Prevention
Here are five initiatives that aim to prevent drunk driving:
- Sobriety checkpoints by law enforcement officers reduce fatalities, injury accidents and property damage accidents on the road by about 20% according to the CDC.
- On Saturation Saturday, the Saturday before Labor Day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) teams up with law enforcement officers to host media events and promote awareness.
- Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, the campaign from NHTSA that runs from Dec. 18 through Jan. 1, aims to educate drivers about the dangers of drunk driving.
- In states that require ignition interlocks for first-time drunk drivers there have been declines in drunk driving fatalities. A driver must blow on an ignition interlock, which is the size of a cell phone, to start the car. If there is more than a low amount of alcohol in their system, the car won’t start.
- With high-visibility saturation patrols, a large number of law enforcement officers patrol a specific area where drunk driving crashes are common.